A woman has been left with a broken finger, bruised and unable to drive after tripping on a loose cobble council workers had identified as a potential danger in Chester city centre.
The 62-year-old, who would prefer not to be named, was walking along Eastgate Street last week when she tripped over the paving slab that she later noticed had been highlighted by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) with a chalk circle.
She had to be helped up by four passers-by and was taken to A&E shortly afterwards, where she was treated for a broken finger and bruising to her upper body and face.
Although otherwise fine, the woman has been left shaken and unable to drive since the incident on Tuesday, March 18.
“I had just come out of Debenhams and was walking along Eastgate Street as I’ve done hundreds of times when next thing I knew, I was on the ground and being helped to my feet by strangers,” she told The Chronicle .
“At first I just thought I’d tripped but then I realised there had been a loose cobble that had been highlighted by a chalk circle which I took to mean other complaints had been made and the problem was in the process of being fixed.
“It was sticking up and totally loose - an accident waiting to happen. But instead of just drawing a circle around it, why didn’t they fix it then and there instead of leaving it? You don’t exactly walk along staring at the ground.
“When we went back to look afterwards, I’d never noticed before that the streets were such a state.
“I’ve been walking the streets of Chester for 40 years and always thought it was perfectly safe,” she added.
When the woman reported the matter to CWaC, the cobble was promptly fixed, but she has written a letter asking why it was not attended to sooner.
“Surely they have done that in the first place.
“The Chester cobbles need to be thoroughly inspected on a regular basis – and this wasn’t some hidden away little backstreet, it’s the main thoroughfare that people walk on every day.”
“I consider myself lucky that I only have a broken finger – if that had been an elderly person, I’m not sure they would have got away as lucky,” she said.
A CWaC spokesperson said: “Whilst we cannot comment about this incident the council carries out regular inspections to all the footways across the borough and carries out repairs to safety- related defects.
“We also regularly ask members of the public to be our eyes and ears and report any footway defects to us via the council’s online fault reporting page which can be found at www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk .”